NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Jon Robinson didn't make any promises on Thursday.
While discussing the NFL Draft and free agency plans at an event for season ticket members, the new Titans general manager didn't give away any secrets either.
"I'm going to be as vague as I can. There's going to be a lot of smokescreen about, "He's going offense, he's going defense, he's going to trade it,'' Robinson, with a smile, said of the No.1 pick. "But you can rest assured, whatever decision we make … will be in the best interest of the team."
Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk, head coach Mike Mularkey, GM Jon Robinson, Titans players, alumni and cheerleaders were among those greeting season ticket members at Nashville's Music City Center. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
Robinson, Titans coach Mike Mularkey and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk all spoke to fans in a Q&A session with Titans radio play-by-play man Mike Keith at an exclusive event for Titans season ticket members on Thursday afternoon. Roughly 3,000 fans turned out for the event in the Grand Ballroom at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville.
Another event was held on Thursday night.
Hired in January to replace Ruston Webster, Robinson at one point Thursday got emotional when discussing the opportunity ahead of him. The Union City, Tennessee, native greeted the crowd as "Titans family" when he walked on the stage and said "it's really good to be home."
"This is home for me,'' Robinson said later. "This team means a lot. I am extremely passionate about winning. … I am going to work my fingers to the bone to make sure we get there."
It's been a whirlwind first month for Robinson, who worked previously with the Patriots and Buccaneers.
On Thursday, he described the type of player he's looking for as general manager.
"I think fundamentally, what we are looking for in players is selfless – not to be confused with selfish – selfless players. The most important thing is the team. It doesn't matter how many catches this guy makes, how many tackles this guy gets. It's about how many wins we have tallied up in the column at the end of the season,'' Robinson said. "So it is about finding guys that buy into that philosophy. The greater good of the team is the most important thing. It is setting aside some of your own personal goals so the team can get a win. That is the mindset of the top of players we're looking for."
Robinson said he'd like to see more consistency across the board from players returning from a 3-13 team.
Free agency will also help restore the franchise, Robinson said, but the team will be strategic in its approach.
The rebuilding process is already under way.
"We are trying to play a little bit of a chess game, and position ourselves not only for this year, but the following year,'' he said. "I was a part of the Patriots and we were able to do that on a year after year after year basis and make strategic moves in free agency and add guys to the team and meet certain roles. If we have a chance to add an impact player, trust me we're going to be aggressive and go after that guy. But we want to get the mindset right, of the team-first attitude guys. We' don't want guys who are just looking for a check. We want guys who want to buy into Titan football, who buy into coach Mularkey and my philosophy of what this team is all about.
"We are not looking for the blue-light special. We are not looking for bargain-basement shopping. … In the end, it's about what's best for the football team."